News Report 31st May 2009


Glorious sunshine welcomed the athletes who descended upon Dolgellau last Saturday for the 17th running of the Royal Ship Hotel sponsored Cader Idris Mountain Race / Ras Y Cader.


Taking into account the various junior races, almost 400 competitors took on their challenge with the main Cader Race setting a new record, as the previous highest number of race finishers, set in 2000, was exceeded, with 246 completing the 2009 event.


There was also a sense of deja-vu with the proceedings as the main race winners in 2009 were also past winners of the race from previous years. The main race was dominated from virtually start to finish by 2006 race winner, Lloyd Taggart (Dark Peak Fell Runners), who reached the summit in the lead and extended his lead on the descent into Eldon Square, Dolgellau to complete the 10.5 mile event in a time of 1hr 26.25mins. This was almost three minutes quicker than the next athlete, Richard Roberts of Eryri Harriers, himself a two times race winner of the event in 2007 & 2008, on this occasion settling for the runners-up spot in a time of 1hr 29.05mins.


A similar story unfolded in the ladies race as Jackie Lee of Eryri Harriers repeated her success of 2004 at the Cader Race to claim a comfortable victory in a time of 1hr 41.38mins, over four minutes clear of the next female finisher, Helen Fines of Calder Valley Fell Runners, who completed the course in a time of 1hr 46.07mins.


Hot on the heels of the second female finisher was the first of the thirteen locally affiliated athletes in action, as Ifan Richards of Brithdir became the first of the eleven Meirionnydd Running Club members home, in a superb time of 1hr 46.38mins to claim an overall 25th place finishing spot.


The next locally affiliated finisher was Frankie Vaughan of Ganllwyd, completing the 3,000 feet climb with gusto before eventually finishing in 95th spot in a time of 2hrs 06.22mins. A 'battle royale' ensued as Andrea Vaughan of Ganllwyd just pipped Meirionnydd Running Club team-mate, Dave Seabourne of Dolgellau, the two finishing in respective times of 2hrs 08.31mins & 2hrs 08.36mins.


The first of the Bro Dysynni duo in action then followed as Hugo Iffla of Tywyn came home in 2hrs 16.28mins, with Meirionnydd Running Club counter-part, Juliet Edwards of Dolgellau, claiming exactly the same finishing time. A mere 12 seconds behind the duo was John Smith of Dolgellau, 6th Meirionnydd Running Club finisher in a time of 2hrs 16.40mins.


The ever-reliable Richard Griffiths of Tywyn was the second Bro Dysynni finisher, his final race preparations included a 44 mile hike from Tywyn to Blaenau Ffestiniog a week before the event. These preparations appear to have paid dividends, as a finishing time of 2hrs 21.13mins was recorded by the Dysynni stalwart.


Pete Nicholls of Llanfachreth was the next Meirionnydd Running Club finisher, home in a time of 2hrs 22.42mins, with Brithdir-based club-mate Kevin Evans following, despite running with injury, still recording a time of 2hrs 44.37mins. Alison Price of Fairbourne was next home in a time of 2hrs 49.54mins with the local contingent being completed by her Meirionnydd Running Club team-mates, Victor Gretton in 2hrs 58.24mins and Sioned Jones of Dolgellau in 3hrs 04.59mins.


There was also excellent competition in the 5 affilaited junior races and amongst the local winners were Robat Evans of Trawsfynydd and Heledd Roberts of Rhosygwalia, Bala, first boy and girl in the junior fun run, Gus Iliff of Bala (6.29mins) & Bergitte Evans of Dolgellau (9.46mins), first boy and girl in the Under-12's event and Alex Lanz of Dolgellau claiming victory in the Under-16's event, in an impressive time of 19.41mins.